Ferns and Fern Allies of Wisconsin

Diphasiastrum digitatum (Dillenius ex E. Braun) Holub
(= Lycopodium digitatum Dillenius ex A. Braun

trailing ground-pine
Family: Lycopodiaceae
plant plant upright shoots arising from horizontal stem branches immature strobili strobilus with sterile tip
This species and D. complanatum have conspicuously broad, flattened branches (2.8-3.9 mm wide) that are very distinctive and unlikely to be confused with the other species of this family. The leaves are scale-like and mostly appressed to the stem, and the leaves on the underside of the branch are conspicuously smaller than those of the upper or lateral surfaces. The upper surface of the leaves is green and shiny, and the underside is paler green. The branches lack the annual constrictions of D. complanatum. Spores are borne in strobili on conspicuous peduncles, and the tips of the strobili are often sterile, unlike the completely fertile strobili of D. complanatum (as in most circumstances it is a good idea to look several plants to determine the tendencies of the population).

Diphasiastrum digitatum ranges throughout the northeastern U.S.A., south to northern Georgia and Alabama and west to the eastern portions of Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. In Wisconsin it is found nearly statewide except for the southeastern counties. Habitats include a variety of forests and forest openings.


known Wisconsin distribution


Key to Ferns

Introduction to Ferns

Glossary of terms

List of all Pteridophytes

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